This is a brief, and personal, note intended to help you respond to the CAA request for responses to their consultation (CAP2610).
Responses are due by tomorrow (10 January) evening. You will need an hour or two and a certain bloodymindedness to get it done.
It’s an advantage to have the deadline and just plough through the task. You will fly above the sticky glue of bureaucracy.
As a model flyer you have a lot of experience in the field. Use it and contribute – have they addressed the real safety and security issues? You only have to search online for a light weight drone (a toy for £100) with a control range of 2km and autonomous flight functions, marketed with ‘no training necessary’ to be able to answer this.
As a member of the BMFA/LMA/Drone society the framework we need for our privileged exclusion from tight control relies on our participation in the debate.
Having slogged through CAP2610 (the consultation document) it is clear to me that we should demonstrate support for the BMFA in the role as our professional body and our mouthpiece in the negotiations that will inevitably follow any decisions.
We can do this, not by slavishly following their responses, but by expressing our views to the CAA as knowledgeable and experienced model flyers. Heaven knows they need some knowledge!
It’s a personal interpretation, but it looks to me like the framework and constraints for recreational unmanned flight must change (safety; security; making money from selling the airspace) and that will have an inevitable spin off impact on our special dispensations (Article 16) as members of an acknowledged professional body. To protect our interests we should contribute our knowledge and support the BMFA as our representatives for what will follow.
Best starting point is the BMFA email sent out to all members on 3 January 2024. This has the links and a sound introduction.
You will need an online copy of CAP2610 – there is a link in the email. The response form is also online and found from the same link.
The early ‘chapters’ of CAP2610 are clear enough and set out their objectives. They are well summarised in the BMFA email. I found the rest to contain large pockets of impenetrable jargon. But if you search the internet for CAP2569 (the earlier consultation) it has a few charts and words that will remind you of the regulatory background that our Article 16 was negotiated within.
The questions are included within the text of CAP2610 and each cluster of questions follows the CAA’s words of wisdom that lead up to it.
The early questions are relatively challenging. The only way I managed it was to start with the BMFA supplied copy of their responses; go back to the CAP2610 document and read the paragraphs that precede the question; then tackle my answer. After around Q16 you may find it gets easier.
I also skipped and came back to some questions. Although the online response form allows you some freedom to do this it doesn’t appear to allow you to move to a new page until each page of questions is answered. I did it by writing my answers in a document before then copying and pasting each one into the online response form.
The CAA do send you a link to download a copy of your answers when the form is submitted.